World-renowned Heineken brewery is spearheading a new concept for franchised pubs.
Branded pubs have started to flood the Czech Republic in the past few years, becoming quite popular with brands such as Plzeňský Prazdroj and Budějovický Budvar.
This year, Heineken is opening its own restaurant concept for the Zlatý Bažant beer brand.
The first Bažantovna has already been opened at the beginning of January in Prague’s Chodov district, with others to follow in Brno, Chomutov and Jihlava. In total, the brewery plans to open nine locations across the Czech Republic in 2023 and 2024.
Romana Domanická, a young designer, is credited with creating the Bažantovna (Pheasant House) design, which is a restaurant concept modelled for the Zlatý Bažant (Golden Pheasant) beer brand. The design’s colour palette is simplistic yet elegant, with gold and black colours complementing the glass designs decorating the back-lit bar. Moving beyond just aesthetics, this design also ensures a comfortable experience for patrons.
“The space is divided in such a way that everyone can find their place here. For a quieter and more comfortable sitting, we have stylish leather seats, higher tables are there for guests who want to have fun, and a separate, quieter area is also suitable for meetings. In addition, the tables are far enough from each other, so guests do not have to shout at each other,” add Jaromír Císař and Tomáš Gibas, owners of the first Bažantovna.
Despite the economic climate in Europe being less than suitable for large investments, Heineken’s Sales Director Pavel Slavik believes that such an investment will provide essential support for the gastronomy business.
“Furthermore, pub owners are not ready for a fancy concept and only have a certain financial amount ready to build the concept, which must be variable and it must be a meaningful investment with a reasonable return. That’s why we came up with our own solution”, says Slavik.
The brewery financed the design in addition to the initial investment. “We work with design concepts that always reflect the uniqueness of our brands and are tailored to them. We are currently working with Šalanda for the Krušovice brand. New this year, we introduced the Bažantovna concept for the Zlatý Bažant brand,” he adds.
Although Heineken typically decides which pubs they want to partner with, and which pubs they wish to provide their concept design for, there have been instances of pubs and restaurants approaching Heineken.
“In Jihlava, where the concept is also being prepared, we were approached by the owner of an existing pub. He wants to try something new and doesn’t want to be bound by the conditions of another brewery,” explains Slavík.
Branded pubs are rather common in the Czech Republic, with both Plzeňský Prazdroj and Budějovický Budvar having a similar approach franchising. Instead of having stringent requirements for suppliers and ownership, these companies instead provide training and visual aids to create a thematic continuity between different locations.
“We offer restaurant owners and managers tailor-made visual and technical solutions for their spaces, while always maintaining a uniform appearance of the given concept, which is based on characteristic elements corresponding to the beer brand,” says business director of Plzeňský Prazdroj Tomáš Mráz